30 / BUILDING DIALOGUE / JUNE 2023 ELEMENTS Workplace Design The Role of the Workplace in Talent Attraction and Retention A s tenant activity in the Den- ver market continues to focus on newer office buildings and those with more modern amenities, it is important to consider the role of the office for the future and what pre- ferred tenants are seeking when con- sidering their next lease. n Why take a people-first approach to the workplace? With a majority of re- turn-to-office policies leaning toward a hybridmodel, many organizations are still refining the role that the physical environment plays when seekingways to attract and retain key talent. Understanding that employ- ees continue to look for organizations that have values in line with their own, the office space that an organization calls home can have a significant impact on that percep- tion. Data has shown that office buildings with LEED certification command and received average rent that is 31% higher than that of buildings without LEED certi- fication. Beyond supporting climate and environmental goals in the design and operations of a building, it is im- portant for organizations and landlords to consider how the design impacts the people who occupy the space. In a study released by Stok earlier this year, analysis from industry-based survey results from real estate, workplace, human resources, and architecture and de- sign consulting professionals found that in addition to design elements such as connections to nature and access to natural light, what employees need to sup- port their productivity, engagement (defined as retention within the study), and well-being is increased flexibility in work hours, physical health programs and a hybrid work policy. n What does this mean for commercial real estate profession- als? So, what does this mean for landlords looking to make strate- gic investments in new or existing real estate? While policies around work time are the re- sponsibility of the or- ganization or tenant, having a space that supports a nontradi- tional workday can be Emily Dunn Director of Workplace Strategy & Well-Being, Stok The top 5 aspects of employee experiencewith themost positive impact on productivity, retention andwell-be- ing. Responses to the survey were weighted across the three metrics of productivity, retention, and well-being, and resulting scores are provided on a 3-point scale. Respondents to Stok’s study indicated that on-site day care ser- vices is one of the top five aspects to the employee experience that would positively impact employee retention.